Updated: Sep 25
Here at Birmingham Reptiles we have made a few changes to our outside woodland and décor area so wanted to take the time to talk about the importance of providing enrichment in your reptiles enclosure.
Having enrichment in your animals enclosure helps improve their quality of life - it provides both mental and physical stimulation which assists with reducing the possibility of abnormal behaviour, often associated with animals that are kept in captivity. Enrichment encourages them to display their natural behaviours - increasing their engagement, intelligence and their curiosity. In addition to this, having appropriate enrichment in your animals enclosure allows them to feel more confident and less threatened. Giving them the opportunity to be a lot more active than if the enclosure was bare.
Providing your animal with an appropriate enclosure is one of the most important things when it comes to reptile care. This does vary from species to species so adequate research is always advised before purchasing - we can also discuss this with you in store and explain the minimum requirements for each animal. Having the correct enclosure and equipment will help assist in maintaining your animals physical health, however, mental enrichment is sometimes lacking.
Mental enrichment for reptiles revolves majorly around providing your pet with opportunities to make choices over their environment, exploration and interactions. We want to give our animals the best quality of life that we can, and there are many ways to do this.
Adding multi level basking opportunities, climbing logs, slate, plants (live or fake depending on suitability for animal) and things like hides are great starting points for adding more enrichment into your animals enclosure. Climbing opportunities also provide exercise so the animal can maintain good muscle tone. Other things to bring enrichment into your animals life is offering them a variety of foods (where able to) - this keeps the animal intrigued and interested in eating. Also, allowing your animal to hunt their food is preferred over hand feeding. Hand feeding can lead to a lazy animal and we want them to remain as active as possible and delve into their natural habits.
Handling your animal and allowing for enrichment time outside of the enclosure is also key for building healthy relationships with your animals and gives them the opportunity to explore more areas. With having animals outside of the enclosure we want to ensure we are keeping a close eye on them and their whereabouts. As well as this we want to be aware of the animals well being when out of the enclosure - if we start to notice that the animal is becoming cold and lethargic then it is time for them to return to the vivarium.
If you do have any questions about how to provide more enrichment for your animals, then do not hesitate to contact us today!
Thanks for reading.